Bumper trade growth shows ever closer ties between US and Hong Kong (with photos)

     The Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA, Mr Donald Tong, said today (January 26, New York time) that the spectacular trade growth figures recorded in the past two years show ever closer ties between the US and Hong Kong.

     Speaking at a spring reception attended by about 400 guests in New York City today, Mr Tong said the US had exported over US$26 billion worth of goods to Hong Kong in 2010, making Hong Kong the 12th largest export destination for the US.

     "American exports to Hong Kong grew even faster in 2011, exceeding US$33 billion already in the first 11 months," he said. The US is Hong Kong's second largest trading partner, following China.

     As the Year of the Dragon also marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Tong said that, thanks to the successful implementation of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle guaranteed under the Basic Law, Hong Kong has succeeded in sustaining and bolstering Hong Kong's vibrancy and economic growth after the changeover in 1997.

    Mr Tong said Hong Kong's recent ranking by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal as the world's freest economy, for the 18th consecutive year, spoke volumes about the economic freedom and strengths of the city. Last December, Hong Kong was also ranked top in the World Economic Forum's 2011 "Financial Development Report" - the first time an Asian financial centre had received such an honour.

     "The cornerstones of our success include the rule of law; fiscal discipline; low and simple tax rates; an open market; the free flow of information, goods and capital; a level playing field for business; and excellent infrastructure.

     "All these competitive advantages enable us to play a key role in the Mainland's development. This bridging function was also acknowledged in China's National 12th Five-Year Plan. It supports Hong Kong's position as the premier international gateway to the Mainland for trade and finance and boosts our role as an offshore RMB (Renminbi) business centre," he said.

    Hong Kong-New York state trade growth is equally exponential. Speaking at the same event, the Director of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, Ms Anita Chan, said, "New York's exports to Hong Kong grew by over 52 per cent in 2010 compared with 2009 and increased by another 89 per cent in the first nine months of 2011."

     She added, "Hong Kong has become the fastest growing export market for New York. We are pleased that Hong Kong's increasing demand for great products from New York has helped to bring more business and more jobs to this great city."

     Organised by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York, the spring reception was attended by about 400 distinguished guests from various sectors - trade and commerce, investment banking, tourism, government and media - to usher in the Year of the Dragon. There will be four more spring receptions in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Boston in the coming weeks.

Ends/Friday, January 27, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:55